Worcestershire Places of Worship

St Kenelm's Church, Romsley (89k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Google Digitization
St Kenelm's Church, Romsley
St Kenelm's Church (link to Church's website)
Chapel Lane,
Romsley, Worcestershire.

Cemeteries

This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded after 812, and we understand it is still open.

St Kenelm's Church is a Grade I Listed Building - see British Listed Buildings website for details. Building of the present church began in the mid 12th century, on the site of an earlier religious settlement. Legend has it that a holy spring rose from the ground where the body of Kenelm, son of Kenulf, King of Mercia was discovered, after he was murdered by his sister about 812, over which a shrine was built.

The existing tower dates from the 15th century, but according to Mike Salter's The Old Parish Churches of Worcestershire (1995), the western part of the church is actually the base of a tower begun in 1180-90. "The south doorway of c.1150 has two orders of columns and a tympanum showing Christ seated and crowned with angels holding his glory".

Our own illustration of the Church (incorrectly labelled as "Clent Church") is taken from the book Annals of Winchcombe and Sudeley, by Emma Dent (1877), digitized by Google and available from their Text Archive. Mrs Dent mentions it in conjunction with the foundation of a chapel dedicated to St Kenelm on Sudeley Hill, Winchcombe, similarly on the site of a former Holy Well. Like the small village called Kenelmstowe, which came into being around the site of the discovery of Kenelm's body, it too became a site of pilgrimage.

Whether the legend is true or not, it seems inescapable that pilgrimages were "big business" in medieval times, and many sites such as Kenelmstowe, which had sprung up to serve them went into decline after the Reformation, as did St Kenelm's Church. According to Mrs Dent, it was restored in 1848 by the Lyttelton family, and was made the parish church of a township in the parish of Halesowen. Before this it had been a private chapel.

See The Crown and the Well for further information, and a critical assessment of the legend.

Denomination

Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Church is located at OS grid reference SO9444080753. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.
Last updated on 26 Oct 2011 at 13:31.

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This Report was created 29 Jul 2017 - 09:13:00 BST from information held in the Worcestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 5 Jan 2016 at 14:44.

URL of this page: http://churchdb.gukutils.org.uk/WOR147.php
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